Unwanted fruit ripening is a major issue in the supply chain when delivering fruit to the perfect ripeness to the consumer. An agent that has found extensive use is 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), which is an inhibitor of ethylene action. It is marketed for use as a gas treatment on fresh fruit to delay fruit ripening and senescence.
This agent binds irreversibly to the ethylene receptors in plant tissues, and prevents the binding of this chemical which delays the onset of ripening in the fruit tissues (Sisler and Serek, 1997). Mango is commonly treated with 1-MCP because its main markets – the USA and Europe are thousands of miles away from its site of cultivation. The physiological responses of climacteric fruit like mango for example, to 1-MCP treatment include changes in ethylene production, lowering respiration, reduced softening, delayed or even blocked colour changes, and reduced development of volatile compounds (Penchaiya et al., 2006; Watkins, 2006).
The use of 1-MCP on mangos has been reported to delay fruit softening, delaying their climacteric peak, reducing the rate of respiration and weight loss, and improving the ascorbic acid content whilst mangos are stored (Sivakumaret al., 2011). In other studies though, 1-MCP hadno effect on mango quality (Osuna-Garcia et al., 2007) and even increasedthe incidence of stem-end rot (Hofman et al., 2001). The effective 1-MCP concentration for prolonging the shelf life of mangos was reported as between 1 and 100 μL/L (Jiang and Joyce, 2000). Lalel et al., (2003) reported less effect of low concentrations such as 1 μL/L of 1-MCP on the aroma profiles of “Kensington Pride” mangos – a popular variety.
MCP treatment has been used to delay climacteric ethylene production in ‘Galia’ melon (Ergun et al., 2005), the ‘Royal Zee’ plum (Dong et al., 2002). It is not always the case though as seen in banana (Golding et al., 1998) and avocado (Jeong et al., 2003) and in other mangoes (Wang et al., 2009).
Read the related article on ‘Mango – A Wonderful Fruit’ for info. on this commercially important fruit.
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Ergun, M., Jeong, J., Huber, D.J., Cantliffe, D.J. (2005) Suppression of ripening and softening of ‘Galia’ melons by 1-methylcyclopropene applied at pre-ripe or ripe stages of development. HortScience 40 pp. 170–5.
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Osuna-Garcia, J.A., Caceres-Morales, I., Gonzalez, E. (2007) Effect of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and hot water treatment on physiology and quality of ‘Keitt’ mangos. Revista Chapingo Serie Hortic. 13(2) pp. 157–63.
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Sivakumar, D., Jiang, Y., Yahia, E.M. (2011) Maintaining mango (Mangifera indica L.) fruit quality during the export chain. Food Res Intl 44 pp. 1254–63.
Wang, B., Wang, J., Feng, X., Lin, L., Zhao, Y., Jiang, W. (2009) Effect of 1-MCP and exogenous ethylene on fruit ripening and antioxidants in stored mango. Plant Growth Regul. 57 pp. 185–92.
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